Visitors to this year’s Olympia horse show may have to find alternative means of getting to the venue — transport bosses plan to scrap the weekday tube service to Olympia, just days before this year’s show (13-19 December).
In March, Transport for London (TfL) announced it was planning to withdraw the weekday London Underground trains to Olympia in a move designed to improve the crowded District line service.
TfL says that just one per cent of the 700,000 people using the District line each day are Olympia-bound. A public consultation ended on 15 July and the service is due to stop in December.
Jo Peck, of Olympia organisers HPower, said: “The underground service to the show is well used and while people can use other modes of transport, there is bound to be some confusion.”
The station is also served by five overland trains each hour and there are six other underground stations within a mile’s walk of the venue.
Miss Peck added that HPower hoped TfL would change its mind, but if not, detailed instructions about alternative routes to the show would be included on all ticket wallets. Emails reminding people of the change would also be sent out.
Tom Lambretts, of Olympia’s owners EC&O, said he did not think the fight was over.
“There has been an impassioned response to the cuts from local residents,” he said. “We don’t believe it will have a cataclysmic effect on our business but have urged TfL to reconsider.”
Richard Parry of London Underground said: “The new timetable would provide significant improvements for the whole line. It is only possible by withdrawing the under-utilised weekday Olympia District line service.”
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (21 July, 2011)